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Articles by Melissa Sweet

What are the challenges and priorities facing the new Primary Health Networks?

This post compiles some reaction to the Federal Government’s recent announcement of the successful tenders for 28 of the 31 Primary Health Networks (more details here; map of boundaries here - or see the list at the bottom of this post). The PHNs will have Community Advisory Committees, and their six key priorities for targeted work are mental [...]

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Diagnosing some important health gaps in the Intergenerational Report

Science broadcaster Karl Kruszelnicki has expressed “deep regret” over his role in promoting the Federal Government’s Intergenerational Report, citing its inadequate attention to climate change. However, this photo taken just a few days ago in a shopping centre in Mackay in regional Queensland shows that he is still being used to promote the report. Meanwhile, a [...]

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NSW: where polluters trump public health concerns

The recent NSW election has put the spotlight on the State Government’s prioritising of vested interests ahead of public health, according to Jude Page, NSW branch president of the PHAA. The health impacts of polluting motorways, coal mine expansions, and coal seam gas exploration deserve far greater scrutiny and action, she argues. Her article also [...]

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Putting the spotlight on the first 1000 days, to improve children’s futures #LongRead

The first 1000 days is the name of a global movement that recognises the importance of the period between conception and a child’s 2nd birthday as a unique window of opportunity to shape healthier futures. The right nutrition and care during this 1,000 day window can have a profound effect on a child’s ability to [...]

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Help change the conversations around Aboriginal health, with some #JustJustice

The over-incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples is a profound threat to the health and wellbeing of communities, families and individuals, according to Summer May Finlay, a Yorta Yorta woman who works in Aboriginal health and is a PhD candidate. In the article below, Finlay encourages Croakey readers to engage with the recently [...]

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In full: the four volumes of the Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services, which the Government has been sitting on for five months

Last year, more than 2,000 individuals and organisations made submissions to the 2014 Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services, which was undertaken by the National Mental Health Commission to terms of reference provided by the Federal Government in early 2014. The final report, dated 30 November, makes clear the Commission expected the report to [...]

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How we’ve ended up with a bankrupt health debate…

Health policy news has been making headlines of late. There’s been: • the Federal Government’s long-awaited announcement on the new Primary Health Networks; • the move to financially penalise conscientious objectors to childhood vaccination (the merits of this approach have been questioned by some public health experts); • calls for action on mental health reform in the wake [...]

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Thirteen-year-old Imogen Senior takes it up to the PM: “It is your government that is doing this to human beings”

Thirteen-year-old Imogen Senior was in the car with her dad – known to Croakey readers as Dr Tim Senior, a GP and Wonky Health columnist - when they heard Julian Burnside talking on the radio about children so desperate that they had attempted suicide while in asylum detention. Yesterday, Imogen’s father discovered that she had written to the [...]

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After years of calls for regulatory action on quad bikes, the toll continues

Croakey contributors have been calling for regulatory action on quad bikes for some years (see the list of stories at the bottom of this post), and the issue is again in the spotlight with inquests in NSW and Queensland. Meanwhile, Ann Arnold, who recently investigated the safety of quad bikes for ABC Radio National’s Background Briefing [...]

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“One year after Ebola” – and what have we learnt? #LongRead

‘No matter how many facts are told, no matter how many details are given, the essential thing resists telling.’ This evocative quote is cited in the Croakey long-read below, which contains many fascinating insights into the issues surrounding the “unprecedented”, ongoing Ebola outbreak in west Africa, including the challenges of recovery and of public health [...]

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